Alfred Henry Freeman

Alfred H. Freeman, C.1910 Photo Courtesy The Freeman Family

For some time now we have been trying to find details of this maker. After Paul Crist sent me some notes which most importantly included Freeman's first name, it allowed me to dig into Ancestry records and city directories. Despite having so few examples of Freeman's work, we at least now know more than we did beforehand and updates will be ongoing as needed.

Alfred Henry Freeman was born on June 27, 1854, the last of 8 siblings, in St. James Westminster, London, England. By 1870, he had immigrated to America and is listed as a glass cutter in New York City directory. Freeman married Charlotte Wilkins on October 2, 1876, in Manhattan, New York. They had four children in 12 years. It is not clear who he apprenticed with

By 1880 he had started a 20 year stint working for Tiffany. It has been acknowledged that 1880 was the year when Tiffany started experimenting in glass with Heidt and John LaFarge in Brooklyn; clearly foundational days in Tiffany's career and an opportune time for Freeman to be in on the ground floor working for the best.

He became a citizen in 1888 and referenced his occupation at the time as a superintendant so clearly he had a supervisory position at Tiffany. By 1890, the New York directories show Freeman working at Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company at 333, 4th Avenue.

In light of Freeman being a cutter at the age of 16, followed by 20 years at Tiffany, one can safely say he had the skills necessary to be a proprietor of his own business. By the time Tiffany's company had evolved into Allied Arts around 1900, Freeman had left to pursue other opportunities.

A partnership between him and Robert Baker was created. According to an advertisement they placed in a 1900 trade journal, Churches and Chapels, their chief line in trade was the creation of memorial windows. Based on their advertisement it would appear that Baker was carrying on his father's business, James Baker & Son. Important details on James can be found on Page 52 of Paul Crist's Tiffany Lamps: A History. One of Freeman's sons, Albert was also listed as a glazier at this time and likely working for his father. Although their business, named Baker & Freeman, was in New York City, Freeman continued to be a long-time resident of Mount Vernon, New York. It is not currently known how long the Baker & Freeman partnership lasted, but we suspect it was short-lived as no further mention of Baker has been found yet. One remaining area of research involves Freeman's involvement with Cameo Glass as he holds a patent in this respect.

Freeman died on September 17, 1936, in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 82.

Churches & Chapels Journal, 1900

The lamps made by Freeman are few. Only a handful have appeared occasionally but recent communications with a family member in Ancestry have indicated that a descendant has material from Freeman's Art Glass days so we are hoping that materializes. The examples we have seen show very simple designs yet tidy workmanship. As new examples surface we will add them to this page.

It is unlikely that Freeman's lamp production was large. As an acknowledged window maker, we can suggest that leaded lighting represented only a small part of his business. Peer studios often turned to lamp making when their window business was slow. Added to that, with the emergence of residential electricity, the leaded shade boom became an obvious, almost cost-free endeavour that made sense by redeploying already skilled employees.


  • Leaded Iris, Handel Base
  • Leaded Iris, Handel Base
  • Leaded Iris, Handel Base
  • Freeman Floral on R&B Base
  • Freeman Floral on R&B Base
  • Freeman Floral on R&B Base
  • Freeman Floral on R&B Base
  • Freeman 24
  • Unsigned, Unattributed
  • Rim Signature
  • Rim Signature